Free trade is a myth. It does not exist; it never did exist, with the possible and limited exception of a brief period when Britain practiced it as well as preached it to expand its near-monopoly over world manufacture.
It is a myth that has bred a progeny of myths: the Peace Myth, that the “century of peace” between the Treaty of Vienna (1815) and the outbreak of World War I (1914) was due to free trade; the Depression Myth, that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 caused or prolonged the Great Depression; and the Current Myth, that the great nations of the world in the post—World War II era have been working toward free trade....
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